Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 31 December 2020

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 31 December 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Expansion of interest subvention scheme for ethanol production.
  2. Cabinet approves Akash missile exports.

1. Expansion of interest subvention scheme for ethanol production

News Summary

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has approved the expansion of interest subvention scheme to provide financial assistance for enhancement of ethanol distillation capacity from grain-based distilleries along with molasses-based distilleries. The total outlay under the interest subvention scheme is estimated at Rs. 8460 cr.

Prelims GS – Governance/Economic Development

Ethanol Blending Program:(EBP)
  • The ethanol blending program was started in 2003 but the more progressive thrust was given during the Hon’ble PM Shri. Narendra Modi regime.
  • The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 approved by the Government envisages an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030.
  • Under the EBP program, ethanol blending in petrol is being undertaken by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the whole country except the island Union Territory (UT) of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep wherein, OMCs blend up to 10 % ethanol in petrol under the EBP Programme.
  • The blending percentage of ethanol in petrol has gone up from 1.53% in 2013-14 to 5% in 2019-20 and estimated to be 8.5% in 2020-21.
  • The Government has set up an ambitious target of 10% ethanol blending by 2022 and 20% ethanol blending by 2030 which will require additional capacity to be added.

Click here to view the PIB release on the expansion of interest subvention for ethanol.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development

Benefits of Ethanol blending:
  • The decision to expand the interest subvention scheme will facilitate capacity addition.
  • Greater ethanol blending will immensely help in:
    • import substitution,
    • savings of foreign exchange, and
    • environmental sustainability.

2. Cabinet approves Akash missile exports

News Summary

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has approved the export of Akash missile and also has created a committee for faster approval of exports.

Prelims GS – Science and Technology

Akash missile:
  • Akash is a Surface To Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms.
  • The missile was inducted in 2014 in IAF and in 2015 in the Indian Army.
  • AKASH is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile System to protect vulnerable areas and vulnerable points from air attacks.
  • AKASH Weapon System can simultaneously engage Multiple Targets in Group Mode or Autonomous Mode.
  • It has built-in Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM) features.
  • The entire weapon system has been configured on mobile platforms.

Click here to view the PIB release.

 

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